“God knows how much we can bear”. That’s a familiar phrase that’s been used to comfort the sufferer time and time again when faced with adversity, bills, sickness, disease, sorrow and troubles. In the midst of these things, “God knows how much we can bear”.
In context, it seems the term usually implies that God himself was piling on problems and difficulties to see where our breaking point would be. The more I think about the phrase in that context, the more I realize that something isn’t adding up. The scripture in James 1 states that every good gift comes from God [The Father of lights]… and that God does not tempt any man with evil. And, in Matthew 8:17 it refers to the book of Isaiah where it speaks of the one [Jesus] who “took our infirmities and bare our sickness” – so if God through his son, Jesus, is bearing our sickness and infirmities, then they should no longer be a burden to us. More supporting scripture in John 10 says “I am come [Jesus—the living word of God] that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.
So, what could be the true meaning behind, “God knows How Much we can bear?” One Sunday afternoon, while sitting in church, I was puzzled by this and the Lord revealed to me something that I would like to share with you… something many of you might already know and realize. That is—there is another meaning for the word “bear”. It doesn’t always have to mean “to put up with” or a “furry mammal”.
The word “bear” can also mean “to produce” or “to yield”…“to bring forth”! “God knows how much we can “Produce”! This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase doesn’t it? For me it brings new hope and great joy! God knows how much I/we can do or bear (produce) in our lives [for His glory] even when we are at our lowest point. It shows He has confidence in us (me and you) as His people, His representatives, His anointed. Other scriptures reference this type of “bearing”.
For example in John, Chapter 15—Jesus talks about cutting back or pruning dead branches off the fruit tree so that the fruit tree can “bear” or yield more fruit. God sees the possibilities in us when we fail to see them in ourselves. And, if we fail to bring forth the fruit, then the failure is in/with us.
Let’s take a look at the closest verse I could find to the coined phrase “God knows how much we can bear”. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It reads, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to “bear” [produce from] it”.
To me, the scripture is saying that in the midst of a problem or situation, God has already prepared something for you to help you be successful, victorious, — an over-comer! This falls right in line with the verses found in James, Chapter 1. It brings peace to me to know that God has made provisions for me “even before I ask”.
Although I may not always see the way out as soon as I would like, God has made a way of escape. It is up to us to find it. How do we do that? We have to seek first His kingdom as scripture states in Matthew 6:33.
We must find out what God’s way is and the answers will be there. Recall verses found in Proverbs 3:5-9. They read, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear [greatly respect] the lord and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” In these verses, I can clearly see indications that God knows something that I don’t know. He sees what I cannot see even though I might be looking at a situation straight on.
As the old adage goes, “We often cannot see the beauty of the forest because of the trees”. But God can see the both the big and small picture. He sees and is able to work things out for the good (Romans 8:28). God, being God—truly knows how much we can bear! So let’s get busy, be fruitful and start producing!